IronWorker Suffers Severe Arm Injury After Falling Down Elevator Shaft ($1.54 Million)

A Local 1 Union IronWorker recovered $1.54 million after suffering a severe injury resulting from a work accident.

The Case

On March 27, 2001, an IronWorker from Local 1 fell thirty feet while working on the renovation of a CTA station at 2000 N. Western Avenue.

In-Depth Look

The journeyman IronWorker’s injuries might have been worse had his fall not been broken by electrical cables, but still, a fractured elbow ended his career. Today he works as an HVAC technician earning $20 per hour.

Representing the IronWorker in a Third-Party lawsuit that resulted in a recovery of over $1.5 million, the attorneys at Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates alleged that the general contractor, Walsh Construction Company, and the IronWorker’s employer, 24K Ironworks, failed to provide adequate fall protection, such as perimeter cable, catenary lines, or netting to protect the ironworkers from falls.

Walsh blamed the accident on the Plaintiff and 24K Ironworks, claiming that the Plaintiff was provided adequate support in that he was tied off and in a man basket. Walsh argued further that the IronWorker should not have unhooked himself from the man basket to obtain access out on the iron.

Evidence produced by the Plaintiff showed that it was common for the IronWorkers on this project to be out on the iron without fall protection and that the man basket would not allow him adequate positioning to perform his job.

Attorney Jay Luchsinger, a former Local 1 IronWorker himself, was instrumental in the prosecution of the case due to his familiarity with proper procedures, as well as the needs and customs of IronWorkers on the job.

According to Clifford Horwitz, the facts were clear. “Walsh Construction and 24K Ironworks failed to provide proper fall protection in order to save money. It was a decision,” he added, “that cost this IronWorker his chosen profession.